7 Uses for Leftover Leek Leaves

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The summer vegetables have all but disappeared from the farmers market here in South Jersey, but the fall vegetables are plentiful. Saturday morning, I set off for the farmers market with two items at the top of my list - leeks and mushrooms. On the menu Saturday night was Savory Mushroom and Gruyere Bread Pudding from the Pass the Sushi blog. The bread pudding was really good; I recommend giving it a try.

The recipe called for just the whites and light green portions of leeks, and I found myself with handfuls of leek leaves left over. I set out to find out how to use the leaves and found they can be used in a variety of delicious ways.

1. Deep-Fried Crumbles

Julienne (long thin strips) and deep-fry them in a tempura like batter. Crumble them and use them as a topping on soups and salads, like bacon bits.

2. Freeze for Soup

Freeze them to add when you’re making soup stock.

3. Bouquet Packet

Enclose herbs in a green leek blade and tie into a packet for a bouquet garni.

4. Stir-Fry

Add them to a stir-fry. The tough green leaves can withstand the high heat of this method, but must be stirred constantly and cooked briefly.

5. Make a Rack

Use them as a "rack" under roasted meat or chicken. It adds a little flavor to the drippings and raises the meat slightly from the pan. Discard them before using the drippings for gravy.

6. Steam Them

Add them to the bottom of a bamboo steamer to impart flavor to lean fish and chicken.

7. Make a Tart

Use to make a leek tart.